How sweet it is

15 08 2016

 

August 15 is a special day. It has been since 1982 when I married my soul mate. Ed has not been here to celebrate with me since April of 2011. This makes me sad and every August 15th I feel the ache in my heart and I cry a little, usually a couple of times throughout the day. I have come to accept that it is normal to miss someone so much that it can cause tears. What was surprising to me is the actually ache in my heart. I used to think the term “heartache” was a metaphor but my heart physically hurts when I think of how much I miss him and still love him. This all sounds a bit morbid but if you can stick with me, you will see I am going in another direction with this. I believe all the actions I just described are normal parts of grief. Grief is not a dirty word. I have had to give myself permission to express my sorrow. It only means I have loved deeply.
I have loved deeply. What an honor that is. What a gift to be able to grow and mature in that love and learn to trust another human being. I had that one person that I could count on through all of life’s winding roads. One person who knew I was filled with insecurities, imperfection and inconsistency and he loved me anyway. He couldn’t help himself any more than I could turn my love for him off. We were both far from perfect and we accepted that in each other. If I was mad at him, yes, it happened, he learned to leave me alone for a while until my hot Italian temper had time to cool off. Before the day was through he would put his arms around me and remind me that I couldn’t stay mad at him. He was so stinking cute, and he was right. We practiced the Biblical principal of not letting the sun go down on our anger. There is a free wisdom tidbit for you. it is important to the life of a relationship. Do not leave things unresolved.

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Today is a special day. I have felt the familiar ache in my heart and I have shed some tears because I miss my Eddie. But sorrow and grief will not define this special day. I have washed my face, brushed my teeth and put a little mascara on. I have called the florist and ordered flowers to be sent to the house. I will celebrate that fact that I have loved so deeply that I am still in love with one man. I am celebrating the fact that I have been fortunate enough to be loved and understood by a soul mate. I honor my husband today and I feel a touch of pride that I was Eddie the baker’s wife until death parted us. This is a joyous day.





This widow’s walk

9 01 2016

2016 might just be the year of the big breakthrough for this widow. There, I said it. Widow. I still don’t like to say it but I am gradually giving in to the  concept. I am not in denial of Ed’s passing. I know in the depth of my being that Ed is with his Savior in Heaven and he is not coming back!  I  wouldn’t  want him to.

I have been in denial of the fact that I am no longer married. It doesn’t seem quite fair that I have no say in the matter. I did not fall out of love. I was not cheated on or angry with or in any way mistreated by my husband. I was in love with Ed right up until his last breath. I am still in love with him.

We talked about some things pertaining to his imminent  passing away but none of our talking or thinking was about the fact that I would no longer be his wife. When Ed died, I became his widow. I hate that part. I could not reconcile it in my heart or in my mind. It has not been a graceful transition, to say the least. It felt all wrong to take my wedding band off and yet it felt like a lie to keep it on. Although, I did keep it on for a long time. I finally found a way that felt “okay” not to wear my wedding band on my hand. I found a necklace that allowed me to wear both our rings around my neck.

This has been my 5th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without my Ed. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not married anymore. On New Years day, I did not put my necklace on. I have looked at it every day since and made a decision not to wear it today. I have tried this before and after a day or two have experienced such anxiety that I had to put it back on. It has been 9 days today without my commitment being worn around my neck. It is okay. I did not break my commitment. I fulfilled it.

I have said it before, grief is different in everyone. We each have to find our own path through the process. Sometimes we can follow a portion of the path that someone else has traveled. Most of the time we have to blaze our own trail. I can still weep with the thought of how much I miss my man. I am on the journey. One step, one day, and sometimes one hour at a time.

Last night, I had a small dinner party with 4 of my close friends. I cooked a pot of marinara sauce and meatballs like I used to do. As we sat around the table in my modest kitchen with full bellies, I took a moment to look around the table. Everyone was at peace and looked contented. Everyone there knew my Ed and were not self conscious to speak his name in a conversation. What really struck me was that we were all laughing, sharing food, stories and talk of movies. Fellowship. My home was alive with fellowship. Ah, but that is for another post.

 





God only knows what’s next.

19 01 2015

Lately, I try to tell myself, (yell at myself) “finish what you are doing now and then move on to the next thing”. Sometimes it actually works for me. Like today. I am going to write a post. God only knows what will come next but for right now, I write. But first, a cup of vanilla hazelnut Keurig coffee will help the creative process. Be right back.
This has been a very busy and fulfilling year. There have been a few work challenges that have stretched me and made me stronger as a film hairstylist and, I hope, nicer as a human being. I really do love what I do. Most of the time it doesn’t feel like work.
I still miss my Eddie every single day. It helps me a lot to work. I am surrounded by people who strangely feel like family. Albeit, crazy and dysfunction family. I smile most of the time at work and I laugh out loud very often. I enjoy my hugs from my coworkers and feel blessed when folks call me Miss Coni. Once in a while, my guys (yes, I have taken possession of them and claim them as my own), will crank out some pretty foul language. I do not take it personally. Usually, if they see me nearby, they will curb it and that makes me smile and feel like an honored member of the tribe. But, sometimes, Words Just Need To Fly. I understand.
Last October, my co-workers threw me the best surprise birthday party ever! The first surprise was that I had to wait outside the trailer while they finished getting it ready for my entry. I was getting anxious because I needed to get my station ready for my first actor but they cheerfully urged me to go to the catering tent and get my breakfast while they “straightened up”. Of course, I figured what was going on by now and I decided to let go of any anxious thoughts and roll with the day. Best idea ever!! What fun I had at work. We started the day with Carvel ice cream cake handing many pieces out the door to my Teamsters and base camp PAs. There were flowers, balloons, finger foods and, wait for it… Frank Sinatra tunes on Pandora!

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These ladies, Cece Verardi and Linda Kamp, know how to make a girl feel special! My Cristy was very much a part of the shenanigans too. I am grateful for their friendship.
I am 62 years young. My life is nothing as I imagined it to be when I was in my twenties and thirties. I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be, using the gifts that God gave me. Loving on people, doing hair and singing are my three favorite things to do in this life. I am triple blessed when I get the chance to do all three in one day.





Blood moon makes a crazy list

11 10 2014

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                                                                                                                             photo taken 10/9/2014

 

 

This week has been an insane teeter totter of crazy and horrible events. I really wonder if it has anything to do with the blood moon. There have been heart aches and miracles all around me. My personal life is also chock full of ups and downs. I have had much to pray about and so much to think about lately. I felt a need to remind myself of a few of things I have learned over the span 62 years. I confess that I do not always live these things to my best potential. But, I press on…

  • You are not unique. Other people have the same struggles you have; many struggles are worse and harder.
  • You are unique. There is not another person on this planet that is exactly like you.
  • You have been designed by God with the seeds of everything you will ever need in this life. Cultivate those seeds.
  • Your life has God intended purpose. Remain alert to your purpose.
  • Be who you are, not who you think others want you to be.
  • Be true to yourself. Don’t be a phony.
  • Think of how you would treat the person that you love and respect the most in the world. Treat yourself like that.
  • Be kind to others. Never rob a person of their dignity.
  • To have a friend you must be a friend.
  • Choose to build up, not tear down.
  • Don’t waste your time being a people pleaser. Please everyone and no one is pleased. Please yourself. At least, you will be pleased.
  • Not everyone you meet will like you. Don’t take it personal. We all have preferences.
  • Sometimes it will be necessary to walk away from people that hurt you. Do not take the hurt with you. Forgive them.
  • Life is a constant discovery. You will never know it all. Be willing to learn new things all the time.
  • It is okay to say, “I don’t know.” You slam the door to knowledge when if you always say, “I know.”
  • God meant it when He said He would never leave you.
  • When picking a boyfriend or future husband, pick the one who respects you, protects you and makes you laugh.
  • If you respect yourself you will recognize when someone disrespects you.
  • You do not need to say everything that pops into your mind.

And that seems like a good place to stop for now. If any of these resonate with you, congratulations! You are living La Vita Loco with the rest of us.

Carry on or press on. Do what you must.

 





Just laugh

23 09 2014

“Write Coni”, she said. “You MUST write.
These are the parting words to me from actress, Sally Hawkins. What a sweet and sensitive, creative soul she is. It was my pleasure to work with her on a television pilot titled, How and When. It filmed here in Wilmington in the spring. Together with the guidance of our director / producer, Charlie Kaufman, we created the hair styles for her character. Her face is pure, child-like and mischievous all at once. Sally brought the story teller out in me. She encouraged me to write my life story and assured me that people would be interested. One day I will try again to do that.

Right now, it is the first day of autumn and I am setting my will to write. It is only fitting that I hold Sally responsible for what comes out in my story telling today.
Laughter is one of my favorite things in this world. There is nothing to compare to a good belly laugh. I am convinced it is good for the soul. My husband’s laugh was one of my favorite sounds. I loved making him laugh or watching a comedy routine with him that would make him laugh until his eyes leaked tears down his cheeks. My daughter, Fawn, laughs all the time. Sometimes I wonder what it is she finds so funny and then I remember, she is my kiddo. She too sees the funny in almost everything.
My secret is that I believe laughter has kept me just this side of the boundaries of insanity for most of my life. Without going into great detail, suffice to say I have been through some crazy stuff. Some of it my own making and some that I had no control over at all. Life is what it is. We all have our “stuff.”
The job I am working on now is on the first season of a television series titled, Secrets and Lies. I am in the hair and make up trailer with three other ladies every day for 12 – 15 hours, five days a week. Our job can be stressful and draining or sweet and uplifting on any given day. One thing for sure is that we are all creative. You better believe I find plenty to laugh at in the environment of these creative crazies. We have been known to have after lunch dance parties in the trailer or craft sessions where we cut out pictures in magazines and put the faces of our cast on them. It is our therapy. No telling what can come of it. We actually have several of our pieces of art hanging up all over our cupboard doors that elicit a chuckle or two from those who enter our makeshift art gallery.

One of our camera operators is a man from Italy who speaks English with a strong accent. I love to hear him talk. Last week he asked me, “how do you always  smile?”

I had to think for a minute before deciding on an answer. I said, I just don’t know any better. And then, I went to my inspiration from the movie Elf. Smiling is my favorite.





twenty years and still having a blast.

19 05 2014

In an unashamed attempt to rebuild my audience, I am posting pictures of some of my film work.

I have found my voice again after being silent for too long. I let my care about what others think of me stagnate my words. That concept is a writing killer.

so, let me say, I love you all but I don’t care if you like what I have to say. I am going to write.

But, for today, PICTURES!!!

image  Here I am in my first film endeavor. I was a featured extra in a movie called RadioLand Murders. I came to my first day of filming with my hair done in finger waves that I did myself and soon after was hired on in the hair department for the remainder of the shoot. Ha, God has a sense of humor.

image  Yep, this is my Eddie. He also worked on the same film as a photo double. When they asked if he would be willing to shave his mustache for it if they gave him a hundred dollars more, his reply was, “for a hundred bucks I will shave my legs too.”

image  Marilyn Manson and the wiener in Eastbound and Down.

Army Wives, Catherine Bell, 1980s hair

Army Wives, Catherine Bell, 1980s hair

this is season one of Army wives. Loved every day of working with this lady.

and…….

Sally Pressman/ Army Wives season 1

Sally Pressman/ Army Wives season 1

This lovely lady too.

I have enjoyed this career for twenty years this year and it has been my pleasure to work with many  kind and nice actors. There have been a few stinkers in the mix but, thankfully, they are few and far between.

These are a few of the good ones…

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It takes all kinds to work on a film set. For the most part we are all a little crazy some way or another. I don’t mind crazy. Crazy just adds to the fun.

My favorite films are the ones that have lots of laughter behind the scenes. The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t have to compete with anyone else in my industry. I have my own unique set of skills and so does everyone else on a film set. I have the most fun when I can let go of my fear and my ego and appreciate what each person brings to the table. I am pretty sure this translates to any job. It is in that kind of atmosphere of freedom that a job ceases to feel like work and begins to be a place and time for the creative juices to flow.

well, it appears I found something to say after all.

It would not hurt my feelings at all if you left me indication that you looked at my post today. Thanks for hanging in here with me.





Gratitude and Slippers in the snow

30 01 2014

unnamedThis is day 3 of Sleet-ageddon and I am experiencing some cabin fever. I stepped out onto my back patio and expected to sink into the 2 inches of snow accumulated there. As you can see, I did not sink. The snow that fell in the evening was mixed with sleet. It covered the ground with ice. Let’s just say that this precipitation will safely hold over 125 pounds. Very safely.

Wilmington is virtually shut down due to icy driving hazards. There are news reports of wrecks all over town. We don’t do snow tires or snow chains in South East North Carolina. However, I am pretty sure that everyone I know  made it to the store to buy bread and milk (and beer for some) before the first snowflake (make that sleetball) hit the ground.

I can’t count how many times I have thought about Ed’s answer to people who ask what brought him to Wilmington. “I tied a snow shovel to the roof of the car and drove south. When someone asked me what it was, I stopped.” His other favorite joke was, “Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Sometimes I just let her sleep.” I never got that one.

My oak floors were scheduled to begin installation today. It probably will not happen for another 3 days now. I am disappointed but, my PollyAnna side is just grateful that I was not stranded in my car on I-20 in Atlanta for 21 hours as some folks were. I am safe and warm in my house with a refrigerator full of food.

unnamed-1I tried to take Bella out for a short walk on my street. Between her doing the splits and me, fake skating along in my Uggs, we turned around within five minutes and headed for the safety of our torn up, semi- carpeted floor.

I was surprised when the floor man told me that he had been chewed out a couple of times this morning because he was not able to get his installers in to work. One man reamed him because he will not have his oak floors in time for his Super Bowl party! It is not like they took a day off to go fishing. Although, that does happen around here sometimes… but not this time! All of our news stations are reporting that the Sherif’s department is requesting that people stay off the roads.

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I guess I have just had some real stuff going on these past few weeks. Two of my friends have gone to meet their maker. My friend Ruthie passed of cancer of the uterus and my friend “Cuz” passed suddenly of complications from the flu. Both leave beautiful families behind. Another friend has contracted some weird bacteria that left him in the hospital for 45 days! During that time his kidneys failed, he was on life support, had both legs amputated below the knees and some fingers amputated off both hands. His pain level from the amputations was so intense that they had to keep him knocked out on heavy duty pain meds to the point that he was hallucinating and having terrors! He and his wife are raising 5 adopted children all under the age of 10! By the Grace of God, he is alive and undergoing intense rehab to learn to move all over again.

If not getting my oak floors in as scheduled is my biggest problem, I am very blessed.

These are some of the fund raising pages for two of my friends. If you feel like you can give anything to either one of these, your donation will be used well and so appreciated.

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https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/55w3/lee-spearman-s-rehab-fund?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fb_share_stream.share&utm_campaign=BA_FBshare&fb_ref=1808402

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https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0gex2?psid=9a0ab849f5674601b44e02a8ac55e393